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Barrick Gold 2Q Output Comparable To 1Q; Copper Guidance Trimmed

Kitco News

Barrick Gold 2Q Output Comparable To 1Q; Copper Guidance Trimmed

(Kitco News) - Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE, TSX: ABX) late Wednesday reported that second-quarter gold production was roughly in line with the first quarter, although output was down year-on-year.

The company maintained full-year gold-output guidance but trimmed its forecast for copper production in 2018.

Based on preliminary data, the world’s largest gold producer said it turned out 1.07 million ounces of gold and 83 million pounds of copper in the second quarter. First-quarter output was at 1.05 million gold ounces and 85 million pounds of copper.

However, output was down from the 1.43 ounces of gold reported in Barrick’s earnings report for the second quarter of 2017. The most notable decline came from Barrick Nevada, where there was a scheduled maintenance shutdown at the roaster.

Barrick reported preliminary second-quarter sales of 1.04 million ounces of gold and 74 million pounds of copper. The average April-June market price for gold was $1,306 per ounce, while the average for copper was $3.12 per pound, Barrick said.

All-in sustaining costs per ounce were approximately 5% to 7% percent higher than the first quarter mainly due to the planned maintenance at Barrick Nevada and the Pueblo Viejo autoclaves, the company said.

Barrick maintained 2018 consolidated production guidance of 4.5 million to 5 million gold ounces, as well as cost guidance. All-in sustaining costs are projected at $765 to $815 per ounce.

“We expect gold production to be higher in the second half of the year following the completion of major planned maintenance shutdowns in the first half of 2018, along with reduced development and stripping in the second half of the year,” Barrick said. “Costs are expected to be lower in the second half of 2018, reflecting increased production from our lower-cost operations at Barrick Nevada and Pueblo Viejo, with higher grades and increased throughput following the completion of scheduled maintenance.”

The company added that processing has been restored at the Porgera Joint Venture earlier than initial expectations, following the earthquake that struck Papua New Guinea in late February.

Meanwhile, Barrick trimmed its 2018 copper-production guidance to a range of 345 million to 410 million pounds from the earlier guidance of 385 million to 450 million pounds. Projected costs were guided higher, including all-in sustaining costs of $2.30 to $2.60 per pound.

“The revisions to our copper production and cost guidance primarily reflect operational challenges at Lumwana in the first half of the year,” Barrick said. “We expect higher production at Lumwana in the second half of 2018, driven by a steady improvement in grade and improved crusher reliability.”

Barrick is scheduled to report complete operating and financial results for the second quarter on July 25.

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